Surprise! He owns guns.
I own four guns (two shot guns, one 22 and a M1 Garand) and I just don’t get it with the “over my cold dead body” NRA gun nut crowd. I believe that the 2nd Amendment grants us the right to gun ownership, but like any right in the Constitution it isn’t an absolute right. If you ask the average NRA member if I have the right to libel or defame them in the name of free speech I’m sure they would say “no”, but why then do they think that gun ownership is an absolute right, but free speech isn’t?
We ought to be able to have background checks at gun shows so that criminals, mentally ill people and those on the terrorist watch list can’t buy guns……it is common sense. I think it is reasonable that a dense urban environment like Chicago should be able to restrict handguns. I inherited my dad’s handgun, but I sold it because I didn’t think it was safe. If a bad guy comes into my house, the best defense is my 12 gauge: wide pattern, short range. I’m less likely to miss, but if I do, I’m unlikely to hit my kids through the wall.
I don’t see the need for a 50 caliber sniper rifle, unless of course I had a really small “johnson”, but then I’d just buy a Corvette….
And don’t get me started on this whole Tea Party concept that the Second Amendment is to “protect us from the government.” The government is not some amorphous entity, WE are the government. Your neighbor may be a fireman, policeman, member of the military, national guardsman, or work at the DMV: that is who the Government is. We get to vote every two years for Congress and four for President, our vote is the strongest weapon we have.
And don’t bother responding with the “slippery slope” argument. The slippery slope argument is stupid as it pre-supposes that we don’t have the right to govern ourselves with reasonable common sense laws. Requiring background checks does not equate to “taking away our guns” anymore than telling people they can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater equates to depriving you of posting your opinion on this blog. (And in a related note: I respect a religious objection to Oregon’s assisted suicide law, but allowing someone with a terminal illness certified by two MD’s to end their suffering, is not a “slippery slope” to Auschwitz.)
Personally I would like to see everyone be required to attend a safety class (the NRA could even run it) before being allowed to purchase a firearm. I’d feel a lot safer with my kids playing at your house if I knew that you had a basic knowledge of the safe handling of firearms. In Illinois we have to have a gun owners permit to own a firearm. Perfectly reasonable, hasn’t hindered me one bit.
So, while I agree that the Second Amendment applies to all government jurisdictions, I also believe that there can be reasonable limits. I lived in Chicago for 15 years with my 12 gauge under the bed and felt perfectly safe. Never felt the need for a Glock……